Today, let's take another look at the artwork of the Diesel Era greatest sci-fi illustrator.
Gernsback's Amazing Stories magazine was successful, but Gernsback lost control of the publisher when it went bankrupt in February 1929. By early June he had launched three new magazines, two of which published science fiction. The June 1929 issue of Science Wonder Stories appeared on newsstands on 5 May 1929, and was followed on 5 June by the July 1929 issue of Air Wonder Stories. Both magazines were monthly, with Gernsback as editor-in-chief and David Lasser as editor.
This painting appeared almost two decades before the sightings of mysterious flying objects by Kenneth Arnold. He has been described as the first person to make a living drawing spaceships; this is a slight exaggeration, as much of his income was also derived from technical drawing.
These visions of robots, spaceships, and aliens were presented to an America wherein most people did not even own a telephone. Indeed, they were the first science fiction images seen by Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Forrest J Ackerman and others who would go on to great prominence in the field.
In 1930, Gernsback decided to merge Science Wonder Stories and Air Wonder Stories into Wonder Stories. In an editorial just before Science Wonder Stories changed its name, Gernsback commented that the word "Science" in the title "has tended to retard the progress of the magazine, because many people had the impression that it is a sort of scientific periodical rather than a fiction magazine".
Ironically, the inclusion of "science" in the title was the reason that science fiction writer Isaac Asimov began reading the magazine; when he saw the August 1929 issue he obtained permission to read it from his father on the grounds that it was clearly educational.
14 years later Frank R. Paul illustrated a sci-fi story written by Asimov. But it's another ... er, story, that I'd better save for the next week. Right now, ladies and gentlemen, you can browse our Wonder Stories album (89 hi-res images, most of them in color, courtesy of Golden Age Comic Books Stories) and/or enjoy the slideshow:
Text source: Wiki